… is a very good paralegal.
I should leave well enough alone and letthat sentence stand on its own, but that’s hardly a blog post, is it?
If we lawyers are the reason why the client hired us, oftentimes it’s because of the dedication and hard work of our paralegals that the clients stay. Lawyers are big picture people, the ones who strategize on the best way forward with a client’s case, but our legal staff is generally who implements the plans and remains in close contact with the client.
It’s too simplistic to say we’re the generals and staff are the soldiers, because oftentimes a good paralegal will uncover details of the case that might make us rethink our initial strategy. Paralegals are more than just good, obedient soldiers. As corny as it sounds a good lawyer and paralegal have a very synergistic relationship. One’s skill set complements the others. Lawyers may be the boss in the conference room, but in the office workroom our hats shift a bit and we work together towards the common goal – the client’s legal needs and how to best achieve them.
Yes, there are mundane and boring details of a court case or file that paralegals must deal with exclusively and for hours at a timewhile we lawyers are busy marketing, having an extended lunch or dashing off to play tennis. But all good lawyers have a very respectful connection with their paralegal. It’s the only way to get things done in an otherwise contentious world of litigation.
I’ve had way too many paralegals leave me as an employer over the years, but universally the reasons have been something other than my office style – there’ve been divorces, relocations out of state, retirement, pregnancies, etc. Whenever I meet a attorney who has had the same paralegal for 10+ years I am always envious. Having a long term paralegal work with you makes a lawyer’s life much easier.
And when I’ve been in between paralegals, I’ve always been pleasantly surprised how professional and hard working the Tampa Bay temporary workforce of legal staffing have been. Legal staffing agencies generally do a fantastic job of screening who they hire for temporary positions as they are a direct reflection on the agency itself. While I think an efficient office has a permanent paralegal on staff, there are times when attorneys are between staff or when a big job requires “all hands on deck” including the hiring a temp to assist with the duties under a tight deadline.
I’ve been lucky enough to have the same paralegal, Jane, now for 6+ years, but with her retirement looming it won’t be too much longer until I’m looking for my next “good fit”.
Author Bio: Walt Blenner is a Palm Harbor attorney who is an “AV” (highest) rated by Lawyers.com and Martindale Hubbell. He has successfully represented hundreds of clients in Palm Harbor, Dunedin, New Port Richey as well as Tampa and looks forward to helping you and your family whether in the area of personal injury, estate planning or corporate representation.